04/27/2015

With healthcare innovations and smart medicine, IT is not only mission-critical, it’s life-critical. Like a pulse, IT supports vital applications throughout the entire healthcare organization.

So when healthcare IT goes wrong, the negative impacts can be far-ranging and severe.

Here are five healthcare IT nightmares and exactly what you need to do to avoid them.

1. Hardware damage

The scenario:

Imagine a critical piece of hardware at your facility suffers damage. Perhaps water issues cause a generator malfunction or a UPS failure. Or maybe the damage is caused by fire, or a natural disaster, and wreaks damage on a larger scale.

Damage to your IT infrastructure not only puts the stability and availability of critical applications at risk, it can also necessitate a large, unanticipated capital expenditure. And privacy could be put at risk if physical access restrictions are compromised.

Prevent this:

Implement a comprehensive Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solution, either on its own or as part of a larger Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solution.

2. Hacker succeeds

The scenario:

A hacker syndicate penetrates your network – via social engineering, perhaps, or with a combination of attack software and access credentials stolen from a contractor. (Evidence suggests that’s what happened to Target in 2013.) Tens of thousands of your records are compromised.

Not only is a security breach a disaster from regulatory compliance and patient trust standpoints, it is also financially devastating. The average cost of remediating a single successful cyberattack perpetrated via an external provider’s IT infrastructure is $1.89 million, according to Kaspersky Lab.

It gets worse. Because Experian predicts, in its 2015 Data Breach Industry Forecast, that healthcare breaches and medical identity theft will only become more common in the future.

An average of 117,339 incoming cyberattacks are detected every single day, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. Don’t let your healthcare organization fall victim to one of them.

Prevent this: 

Vet your internal and external-partner IT infrastructure very carefully for rigorous physical, technical and operational security. Prioritize the significant investment needed for 24/7/365 expert monitoring and dedicated IT security teams. Alternatively, engage an IT partner with comprehensive security expertise and high-security facilities and operations.

3. Downtime delay

The scenario:

An internal hardware changeover goes wrong. Or your IT partner drops the ball. (A staggering 23% of healthcare organizations in one survey reported dealing with cloud service downtime.) The downtime disrupts your entire organization, from patient scheduling and billing to HR to the pharmacy and the radiology department.

Prevent this:

Either allocate the significant resources needed to build out an internal IT team and redundant infrastructure to the point where 100% availability is a realistic expectation, or invest in an IT partner who offers highly available architecture and has the facilities, audits and track record to back it up.

4. Budget dilemma

The scenario:

Hackers on the hunt for PHI. Regulatory demands increasing. More data, clinical applications and administrative functions to handle than ever before.

But when capital is scarce, hard choices arise. Do you invest in updated hardware or in cutting-edge medical equipment? A private data center or expanded radiology services? And how do you budget and plan for the future effectively when technology costs are so unpredictable?

Prevent this:

Though robust IT is an absolute necessity, IT infrastructure and staffing must compete for a shrinking pool of resources. Stabilize your IT costs without compromising stability, availability, latency or privacy by engaging an IT partner.

Outsource your IT infrastructure and maintenance to a trustworthy partner so you can budget with predictable costs, and your team can focus on delivering innovation, value, and patient care and satisfaction.

5. Hamstrung by staffing

The scenario:

Your IT department is understaffed due to perpetual budget squeezes, so performance and security suffer. (High-level security experts and 24/7/365 monitoring are cost-prohibitive for many healthcare organizations.) Or you struggle with customer service issues with your current IT partner, which affects operations and staff morale.

Prevent this:

Fully invest in the IT staff and infrastructure you need for security, availability and latency. Or engage an IT partner that promises outstanding customer services and has the audit-verified operational rigor to ensure its people always deliver.

Involta Solutions offer uncompromised performance 24/7/365. Contact us to learn how Involta can help reduce cost and risk in your healthcare organization.

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